ON YOUR SIDE: Beware of prices on meat, supply issue won't last forever though

Published: May. 13, 2020 at 3:28 PM CDT
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Watch out for sticker shock in the meat department these days.

Prices are going up due to disruptions in the supply chain.

Harter House is known for its meat.

In fact, they sell more meat products than most of their other products in store.

But the prices at Harter House and elsewhere are up. Brace yourself, and know that it's not forever.

After 38 years in the grocery store business, little did Randy Richards know he apparently hasn't seen it all.

"We get those huge rushes at Christmas and the big holidays, but it's almost like a holiday everyday," said Harter House owner Randy Richards.

The initial hit was hard enough, with some big meat processors partially closed because of coronavirus outbreaks.

But now, Richards sees a one-two punch, as shoppers started stockpiling like there's no tomorrow.

"Everyone came in and started shopping for two or three weeks and that caused a big hardship on the supply line," Richards said.

The good news, he says, is that many people now have meat in the freezer. But the Missouri Farm Bureau says if supplies are limited, prices will be high, and they're unsure for how long.

"When you have a huge backlog occur on a farm it creates this accordion effect where now you have to get the plants back up to their full speed to even stay at normal capacity and hopefully get a little bit over that so they can start chewing through that backlog, so it may take months before we start actually fully getting back to your normal routine," said Eric Bohl with the Farm Bureau.

Shoppers are looking for that normal life and price to return.

"I don't recall ground beef being $8 plus per pound, so yeah, it seems a little steep, but hopefully it'll go away soon and we'll be back to normal," said Candy Buxton.

In the meantime, shop those ads, shop around and realize tomorrow's price might just be better than today's.

"Our family pack on ground chuck right now are $5.99, but that's a day to day deal. Typical is about $4.99 without all this going on though. And maybe at $3.99 ads or $2.99 ads... so we're probably up to close to double an ad price, but only 30 or 40 percent off of a regular price," Richards explained.

The Missouri Farm Bureau tells us workers are getting back to work at our two big Missouri meat processors. That will help. But for now, hang on for the ride, and be grateful if you do have enough meat in your freezer to get by.